The Brothers Grimm 101 Fairy Tales

101 Grimm Fairy Talesby Jacob & Wilhelm Grimm
Translation by Margaret Hunt
Fantasy
4 of 5 stars

It’s always hard to rate an anthology of stories rather than just one since it requires so much generalizing. This is a good collection with a mix of well-known fairy tales (Rapunzel, Sleeping Beauty, Little Snow White, Rumpelstiltskin, Cinderella) as well as dozens you’ve probably never heard of (The Twelve Hunters, The Wolf and the Fox, Thousandfurs). These are the traditional European stories revolving around brownies, fairies, gnomes, and witches that roam the world either tricking or treating the commoners and kings. For the most part, the magic and motivations aren’t explained at all, but the black-and-white quality of the stories is refreshing. In this edition, some of the similar tales are grouped together so you can easily compare versions, and the more famous stories are spread throughout, which I liked.

Being the Grimm collection, many of these are more violent and disturbing that you might be used to if you think Disney movies are accurate representations. Dismemberment, cutting someone out of a villain’s stomach, abandoned/neglected/abused children, and sadistic punishments are quite common. Sometimes there is a moral to the story (a good number of them mention God/the Devil/Death and heaven/hell as characters or consequences) but the creepiest ones present a horrific story with no clear purpose other than to chill. But just when you start to think all these dark stories can’t surprise you, some of them include truly beautiful lines! There’s a bit of everything in a collection this large, and I enjoyed spending several months going through it all. This is the perfect book for when you only have 10-15 minutes to read at any time, since most of the stories are 2-10 pages. (The complete collection is two volumes, 211 fairy tales). I’ll be starting the second volume soon!

If you’d like to see more reviews or buy a copy for yourself, The Brothers Grimm 101 Fairy Tales is available on Goodreads and on Barnes & Noble’s website here. Please consider supporting your local bookstore!


Similar reads:

  • Rags & Bones: Timeless Twists on Classic Tales by Melissa Marr – Take these fairy tales and give them a modern spin from a host of talented authors! These are creepy and compelling. See my review here.
  • The Sleeper and the Spindle by Neil Gaiman – Also included with the Rags & Bones collection, there is a fully illustrated hardcover version of this Sleeping Beauty retelling, and the modifications are quite interesting.
  • The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer – Classic fairy tales in a modern, sci-fi setting where magic is based in science and the princesses aren’t waiting around for men to save them. The first book is Cinder – see my review here.
  • Uprooted by Naomi Novik – This book consumed me! This is a “traditional” fairy tale with incredible characters and world-building. So dark, so good. See my review here.
  • Deerskin by Robin McKinley – A retelling of Donkeyskin/Thousandfurs, this dark fantasy relates the story of Lisla Lissar, the beautiful daughter of the king. She’s so beautiful that when her mother dies, her father declares that Lissar must be his bride. Lissar must escape and make her way in the world, but the past has a way of catching up to her. *Please note this story is graphic and could have triggers.*
  • The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker – These traditional fairy tale spirits are given their own story set in 1899 New York. See my review here.
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8 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. erinkbay
    Dec 18, 2015 @ 11:08:26

    Yay!! Love this review!!! Haha, I don’t know when I’m going to get to reading these… one day! But fairytales are the best!! (Also, great comps! I’m going to have to read Deerskin and I’ve been wanting Sleeper and the Spindle!)

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

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